From the Hardcover edition.
From the Hardcover edition.
- OverDrive Listen
- OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
From the bookChapter One
the day of
When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of
it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the
head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it.
Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the
Victorians would call finely shaped head. You could imagine the
skull quite easily.
I'd know her head anywhere.
And what's inside it. I think of that too: her mind. Her brain, all
those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast,
frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling
her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down
her thoughts. What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked
most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person
who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every
marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are
you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
My eyes flipped open at exactly six a.m. This was no avian fluttering
of the lashes, no gentle blink toward consciousness. The awakening
was mechanical. A spooky ventriloquist- dummy click of the lids:
The world is black and then, showtime! 6- 0- 0 the clock said— in my
face, first thing I saw. 6- 0- 0. It felt different. I rarely woke at such a
rounded time. I was a man of jagged risings: 8:43, 11:51, 9:26. My
life was alarmless.
At that exact moment, 6- 0- 0, the sun climbed over the skyline of
oaks, revealing its full summer angry- god self. Its reflection flared
across the river toward our house, a long, blaring finger aimed at me
through our frail bedroom curtains. Accusing: You have been seen.
You will be seen.
I wallowed in bed, which was our New York bed in our new house,
which we still called the new house, even though we'd been back here
for two years. It's a rented house right along the Mississippi River,
a house that screams Suburban Nouveau Riche, the kind of place
I aspired to as a kid from my split- level, shag- carpet side of town.
The kind of house that is immediately familiar: a generically grand,
unchallenging, new, new, new house that my wife would— and did—
"Should I remove my soul before I come inside?" Her first line upon
arrival. It had been a compromise: Amy demanded we rent, not buy,
in my little Missouri hometown, in her firm hope that we wouldn't
be stuck here long. But the only houses for rent were clustered in
this failed development: a miniature ghost town of bank- owned,
recession- busted, price- reduced mansions, a neighborhood that closed
before it ever opened. It was a compromise, but Amy didn't see it that
way, not in the least. To Amy, it was a punishing whim on my part, a
nasty, selfish twist of the knife. I would drag her, caveman- style, to a
town she had aggressively avoided, and make her live in the kind of
house she used to mock. I suppose it's not a compromise if only one of
you considers it such, but that was what our compromises tended to
look like. One of us was always angry. Amy, usually.
Do not blame me for this particular grievance, Amy. The Missouri
Grievance. Blame the economy, blame bad luck, blame my parents,
blame your parents, blame the Internet, blame people who use the
Internet. I used to be a writer. I was a writer who wrote about TV
and movies and books. Back when people read things on paper, back
About the Author-
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dark Places, which was a New Yorker Reviewers' Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice; and the Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, which was an Edgar nominee for Best First novel, a BookSense pick, and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. Her work has been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
- Narrator Kirby Heyborne begins this suspense novel when Nick comes home on his fifth anniversary to an empty house that shows signs of a struggle but no sign of his beautiful and clever wife, Amy. Heyborne creates a persona of passive detachment that begins to show signs of wear as the police investigation increasingly focuses on him. Weaving around Nick's story, Julia Whelan dishes up Amy's diaries, beginning when Amy and Nick first met, with a tone of the doting and loving wife who lives to please. Soon it's clear that neither Amy nor Nick is to be taken at face value. The nuances heard in both Whelan's and Heyborne's narrations heighten the suspense and support the intricacies of the plot. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
Starred review from March 26, 2012
There’s the evil you can see coming—and then there’s Amy Elliott. Superficially, this privileged Gotham golden girl, inspiration for her psychologist-parents’ bestselling series of children’s books, couldn’t be further from the disturbingly damaged women of Edgar-finalist Flynn’s first two books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. But as Amy’s husband, Nick Dunne, starts to realize after she disappears from their rented mansion in his Missouri hometown on their fifth anniversary—and he becomes the prime suspect in her presumed murder—underestimating Amy’s sick genius and twisted gamesmanship could prove fatal. Then again, charmer Nick may not be quite the corn-fed innocent he initially appears. Flynn masterfully lets this tale of a marriage gone toxically wrong gradually emerge through alternating accounts by Nick and Amy, both unreliable narrators in their own ways. The reader comes to discover their layers of deceit through a process similar to that at work in the imploding relationship. Compulsively readable, creepily unforgettable, this is a must read for any fan of bad girls and good writing. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg.
Starred review from September 24, 2012
Flynn’s bestselling novel is a dark and cynical treatise on how malignant a marriage can become when the wrong people say “I do.” The book begins with Nick Dunne’s first-person account of wife Amy’s disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary and his subsequent encounters with the local North Carthage, Miss., homicide detectives who suspect him of murder. Interspersed throughout the book are Amy’s diary entries, which chart her possibly unreliable version of her and Nick’s meeting, marriage, and eventual growing apart. This literary setup is perfect for the dueling narration provided by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne. The latter has a soft, youthful delivery that registers a vague sincerity that could also be interpreted as sarcasm—just the sort of voice one might expect from an intelligent, oddly disaffected, potential wife killer. Whelan’s version of Amy is filled with entitlement, egotism, and the edgy anger of a genuine or imagined victim. The combined narration of Whelan and Heyborne infuse Flynn’s bestseller with an energy that audio fans will find even more satisfying. A Crown hardcover.
Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Ice-pick-sharp... Spectacularly sneaky... Impressively cagey... Gone Girl is Ms. Flynn's dazzling breakthrough. It is wily, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they're hard to part with -- even if, as in Amy's case, they are already departed. And if you have any doubts about whether Ms. Flynn measures up to Patricia Highsmith's level of discreet malice, go back and look at the small details. Whatever you raced past on a first reading will look completely different the second time around."
People (four stars)
"An irresistible summer thriller with a twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Burrowing deep into the murkiest corners of the human psyche, this delectable summer read will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page."
- USA Today, Carol Memmott "How did things get so bad? That's the reason to read this book. Gillian Flynn -- whose award-winning Dark Places and Sharp Objects also shone a dark light on weird and creepy, not to mention uber dysfunctional characters -- delves this time into what happens when two people marry and one spouse has no idea who their beloved really is."
- Associated Press, Michelle Weiner "It's simply fantastic: terrifying, darkly funny and at times moving. The minute I finished it I wanted to start it all over again. Admirers of Gillian Flynn's previous books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places, will be ecstatic over Gone Girl, her most intricately twisted and deliciously sinister story, dangerous for any reader who prefers to savor a novel as opposed to consuming it whole in one sitting...."
- Boston Globe "Gillian Flynn's third novel is both breakneck-paced thriller and masterful dissection of marital breakdown... Wickedly plotted and surprisingly thoughtful, this is a terrifically good read."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oline Cogdill
"That adage of no one knows what goes on behind closed doors moves the plot of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn's suspenseful psychological thriller... Flynn's unpredictable plot of Gone Girl careens down an emotional highway where this couple dissects their marriage with sharp acumen... Flynn has shown her skills at gripping tales and enhanced character studies since her debut Sharp Objects, which garnered an Edgar nod, among other nominations. Her second novel Dark Places made numerous best of lists. Gone Girl reaffirms her talent."
- Salon "A great crime novel, however, is an unstable thing, entertainment and literature suspended in some undetermined solution. Take Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, the third novel by one of a trio of contemporary women writers (the others are Kate Atkinson and Tana French) who are kicking the genre into a higher gear... You couldn't say that this is a crime novel that's ultimately about a marriage, which would make it a literary novel in disguise. The crime and the marriage are inseparable. As Gone Girl works itself up into an aria of ingenious, pitch-black comedy (or comedic horror -- it's a bit of both), its very outlandishness teases out a truth about all magnificent partnerships: Sometimes it's your enemy who brings out the best in you, and in such cases, you want to keep him close."
Wall Street Journal
"Ms. Flynn writes dark suspense novels that anatomize violence without splashing barrels of blood around the pages... But as in her other books, Ms. Flynn has much more up her sleeve than a simple missing-person case. As Nick and Amy's alternately tell their stories, marriage has never looked so menacing, narrators so unreliable."
- New York Times "Readers who prefer more virulent strains of unreality will appreciate the sneaky mind games of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, a thriller rooted in the portrait of a tricky and troubled marriage."
New York Daily News
"[Flynn has] quite outdone herself with a tale of marital strife so deliciously devious that it moves the finish line on The War of the Roses... A novel studded with disclosures and guided by purposeful misdirection... Flynn delivers a wickedly clever cultural commentary as well as a complex and driven myste
PublisherPenguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
OverDrive ListenRelease date:
OverDrive MP3 AudiobookRelease date:
Digital Rights Information+
OverDrive MP3 AudiobookBurn to CD:PermittedTransfer to device:PermittedTransfer to Apple® device:PermittedPublic performance:Not permittedFile-sharing:Not permittedPeer-to-peer usage:Not permittedAll copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
More titles may be available to you. Sign in now to see your library's full collection.